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See the complete practical steps needed to start a News blog in 2019.
Blogging is one major online platform that has been seen to be lucrative, It has thus far
Enabled young people to become their own boss without having to invest much.
Before now, you would probably have to get a degree and hope for a job, but thanks to the internet, one can easily start a blog online with little investment.
Here are a few things, that makes blogging cool
- Huge monthly income: As a blogger, you can easily go home monthly with a huge monthly income without entering the four walls of an office
- Your own boss: Ain’t getting fired here. Blogging makes you, your very own boss. Work at your own pace
- Educational: There is no learning ground, larger and better than the internet. And that’s where bloggers live.
- Getting influence: As a blogger, relating with co-bloggers can help build a network of influencers.
The above listed are just a touch in the iceberg of how cool blogging is. News blogging is also not exempted.
Today’s guide on how to start a News blog is quite practical, hence I will reveal to you exactly what you require to start a News blog in 2019.
Requirements to start a news blog
- A laptop: I say this is mandatory, a wider screen and a faster processor with an awesome keyboard is needed.
- Time: Every business requires quality time, so does blogging. To start a news blog, you need to consider creating quality time for publishing.
- Writing ability: Not every story get read… but when yours do get read. It should be audience converting.
- Initial investment: Though you can start a blog completely free, in this practical guide, you are going to be needing roughly ” “. This amount will take you through the first year of blogging.
- Network information: News bloggers are reporters, hence before considering starting. I encourage you to link up with agencies and individuals with the right information.
Hopefully, you have at least 80% of the above-listed requirements… If you are using a mobile phone, not to worry, this practical guide to creating a news website,
Will also guide you through managing your news blog on your mobile phone.
Ready to start your next project?…
wait a few minutes… let’s understand the concept of news blogging and why it’s different from others.
What is a News Blog?
Probably thinking its some “content publishing website” right? Well, that’s exactly what a News blog is.
But however, News bloggers are much more like reporters, people who intend to speak to the mass and for the mass.
Hence, News blogging requires time and initial capital.
Why so?… News blogging is one of the most competitive markets and here is the sad part!!!
Unlike lifestyle bloggers who can write about their new shoes and get traffic, News bloggers actually have to start in time and compete for information.
Funny enough, all news website write the same “news” and you have super big names there already.
So if you want to build a successful news blog, you need to practice a simple tactic which works for virtually all niches.
I will explain this trick later…
Here are the steps needed to create a successful news blog in 2018. Each step explained and it is advised you go along with the flow.
9 Steps To Start A News Blog
- Find a Domain name
- Domain registration
- Purchase web hosting
- Link Domain To Hosting
- WordPress (CMS) Installation
- Install a WordPress news theme
- Customize Theme
- Optimize for Speed & SEO
- Enable AMP Pages
- Enable Push Notifications
1. Find a domain name
A domain name shouldn’t be a strange word to you, you have probably seen a domain name and just didn’t know that’s what it is.
So what’s a domain name? I like to define it like this.
Every house has an address, with the help of such address, visitors can easily locate it. right?
That’s same for a domain name, or as others call it website address. A domain name is a unique name that serves as the path leading to your website.
For example, bloggingprince.com, cnn.com, legit.ng etc.
A domain name, however, has 3 components.
www – meaning world wide web
the name itself (bloggingprince, CNN) – unique identifier of your address
.com,.net,.ng etc – domain extension. (when we registrar this is what decides the pricing).
You now know what a domain is, hence we can go ahead a find the right domain for your website…
Here are the few things to consider
- Short and easy to remember domain names always perform better
- including specific niche based keywords e.g jidenews.com is better because it is self-explanatory
- .com or a country-specific domain extension (.ng,.com.ng, etc) is always recommended.
With these known… here is what you want to do next. Write down a list of up to 10 possible names you wish to call your news blog.
You can use tools like Namemesh to find a suggestion.
While searching, ensure the name selected by you, is not already in-use on twitter and facebook. Because you are also going to be creating twitter and facebook accounts for your news blog.
Hence, make sure you have unique and usage free name.
Found the right name? Next, I am going to get you through the process of registration
2. Domain name registration
So you have found the right name which follows the above-listed tips (Hey you, I would like to know this name, kindly drop it below at the comment box).
Next, is to register the name. To do this, you need a domain registrar… let me explain this to you.
What is a domain registrar? – A domain registrar is an online company which registers domain names or also sell domain names.
When a domain name is bought online, one is expected to renew it yearly, so it’s just like renting a house.
Here is a list of my favorite domain registrars
Optionally, you can check out my list of 6 cheapest domain registrars in Nigeria.
Want my own recommendation? I would say Namecheap.
and here is why!
When a domain name is registered, the information of such buyers becomes indexed on a directory called “Whois”.
This includes your phone, address, etc. It is not really safe. Hence, a new bundle comes out called “Domain privacy” with this enabled, your personal information gets deleted.
All domain registrars provide this as a premium package, but Namecheap which is one of the leading domain registrars provide it free with all domains registered.
The best part is… This doesn’t stop them from selling a domain to you for as low as $8.88.
If you are starting a news blog, you are going to need this. Now, let me get you through the process of registering your domain name on NameCheap.
How to register a domain name
- Visit Namecheap’s home page
- Insert your early chosen domain name, if available add to cart
- Create an account or login >> Confirm order and make payment.
- Some information will be sent to your email, we will be needing this in the next step.
How hard was that? I believe it didn’t take up much time.
Before the next step… Would you like to get access to every content I publish? – Then definitely need to click that red looking bell.
3. Purchase web hosting
You are now a proud web address owner… but where does your address lead to? a house right? but online, it leads to a web host.
Hey Prince, do I need to pay for this too… Yes. Except you want FREE which I don’t really recommend.
I will, however, give you a clue of free options later. But first, let’s understand the web hosting stuff.
What is a web host? A web host is simply storage, a storehouse where your files such as media, themes, videos, images, etc are saved online and also easily accessed.
Since it’s a storage space, one has got to consider the following features
- Storage size: How big is it and how many files can be saved on it
- Bandwidth: How many persons per time can access these files
- Server response time: how easy is it to access the files saved in this space
- Uptime: Would there be situations where users can’t access these files and how frequently does this occurs.
- Customer support: If I lock myself inside this storage, how quick can I get help.
With that taken note of, here is a list of recommended web hosting providers
What other options do I have? Free hosting (not recommended)
1. Blogger.com: Its a free web hosting platform, that provides you unlimited bandwidth and storage space but has a few drawbacks – Customization, Usage, and flexibility.
Hence, for a personal blog, I would recommend it but for a news website. Don’t even dare (laughs)
2. Hub8 free hosting: This is a limited hosting plan provided free by Hub8, a website hosting platform.
You get a free 500MB website storage, but if you want professional blogging, you have got to opt-in for a better plan.
so what really should you do? Get a paid web hosting plan. Bluehost and Siteground are more ideal due to their fast servers and add-ons
But pricing is quite on the high side. Hence, I recommend once again, Namecheap and this is why!
In my previous post, I explained everything about Namecheap shared hosting plans, In that post, the features of Namecheap plans compared to their prices is worth for your money.
Follow the steps explained in the post. Use this link to purchase Namecheap hosting.
4. Link To Domain To Host
After purchasing both the domain and the web hosting plan, Next is to link your domain to your Hosting package.
Here is how it is done.
Visit your email address to get information concerning both hosting and domain.
In a new tab, go to Namecheap.com >> Login.
At the top bar locate “Account >> Domain list”. I will stop here, and here is why
Namecheap support, already provide a super detailed post on how to link your domain and hosting together,
Hence, let me redirect you there instead.
Also, you need to setup Free SSL for your new domain, here is a guided video for you.
5. Install WordPress
Every house needs furniture, etc. That’s the Content Management System (CMS). WordPress is the world most popular CMS and it is so for a reason.
It’s powerful features and flexibility is something to write home about. With WordPress, it only takes a few seconds to start a news blog – a successful one.
Here is a detailed video on how to install WordPress on Namecheap.
Read this article too from Kirby’s Marketing
Can you access your WordPress site now? If yes, tell me how it went in the comment box.
Sorry, I couldn’t take you through it, I found a nice video and felt its probably more detailed.
6. Install a WordPress News theme
Your news site is ready but wait, you have got to set up a decent news theme that would help enhance and promote your layout.
Here is what you get from a theme
- New look and layout
- Customization options
- More functionality
In regards to a news site, and also after setting up over 10 news sites for a few clients, I always recommend two themes.
They are my favorite in the game. Features are top notch but in the eyes of humans and search engines too.
You are going to love them. But however, they are not free themes, each cost $59 and $49 respectively on ThemeForest.
Note: You will find these themes (nulled version) online for free, please do not download them. They are full of scripts that will install malware on your host.
Features of Newsmag & Newspaper9
- Mobile ready with custom built mobile template
- Monetization commendable with optimized ads placement
- Fast loading theme with quality page builder
- Customization and styling at a flink at the theme options
- News ready layouts with a lot of options and widgets.
You can visit ThemeForest to purchase any of the themes.
That takes us to the next step.
Now, I am going to take you through the basic WordPress settings which are very important
Permalinks are the same with URLs… For every post you publish, it is going to have a URL which you can share for persons to read that specific post.
WordPress makes it easy for you to choose any kind of permalinks but for SEO and best performance, it is always better to choose a post name.
Go to Settings >> Permalinks >> Select Post name. Save and that’s all.
Having a secured website is very important. Now I believe you watched the video to install a free SSL certificate.
Next is to activate it on your website admin dashboard. Go to Plugins >> Add new >> Search for “Really Simple SSL”.
Install and activate it.
Go to settings >> SSL >> Enable and your site will now be available on HTTPS URLs.
That takes us to the next step.
8. WordPress PageSpeed, Security & SEO
Like I earlier said, WordPress comes to function, hence since we wish to start a news blog, we have got to make our site fast, secure and also optimized.
WordPress Pagespeed settings.
There are various plugins that can be handy here. Majorly most of these plugins are page caching plugins,
Below is my favorite and also links to set them up properly.
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
- WP Rocket
Here are helpful guides to set them up.
- W3 Total Cache Settings Explained – A Beginner’s Guide
- How to Install and Setup WP Super Cache for Beginners
- The Ideal WP Rocket Settings With Cloudflare/StackPath CDN Instructions
You definitely don’t want to have an unsecured website, hackers would just mess around with you.
Using a few plugins you make your website super secure. Below are my recommendations and links to set them up
- Ithemes Security
Search Engine Optimization is the name and that is how you get visitors to your news blog.
Earlier, I mentioned, that the news niche is very competitive but with proper SEO, you can get a huge amount of traffic from search engines such as Google.
Hence, I recommend, you subscribe to your blog for undiluted SEO tips.
But for now, installing an SEO plugin will do you real good, Here are the 4 recommended plugins (pick just one)
- Yoast SEO
- All in One SEO Pack
Here are helpful links to set them up.
9. Enable AMP Pages
Over 80% of users looking to read news online, actually use mobile phones, hence it is wise to provide a super fast version of your website to mobile users.
If you purchase Newsmag or Newspaper, these themes have AMP functionality built in, all you have to do is enable it. See how to get that done in this guide.
However, if you are using another theme, you can download the free AMP plugin available.
Go to Plugins >> Add new >> search for “AMP” install the plugin and customize it under Settings >> AMP.
Here is also another useful post on WordPress AMP.
10. Enable Push Notifications
Reoccuring traffic is the key. What this means is getting users who have once visited your site to subscribe to receive instant updates.
News articles are instant… Hence, Push notification will do your blog really good. You can read more of the benefits on ShoutMeLoud.
If you wish to have it. It’s totally free with OneSignal and this how to set it up.
Basically that is all, But let me chip in a few things
- If you use a mobile phone (Android) you can download the wordpress app for android and mange your site from your phone
- When deciding to blog, choose a specific location. This will make your audienve targetted.
On my next post, I will be taking you some series of methods to build your traffic and will also be talking about making money from your news blog.
Don’t want to miss out? Subscribe to push notifications.
In today’s guide, I showed you 9 practical ways to start a news blog, these are the exact same steps I use, and thus far, all my clients are happy.
I can help you go through all these steps if it seems bulky for you, Just email or leaves a comment below.